Ludwig Devrient

* 15.12.1774 in Berlin; ✝ 30.12.1832 in Berlin




Ludwig Devrient was the uncle of Eduard and Emil Devrient. He began his theatrical career among those troupes of travelling players, whose continuing activity was still to be observed in the 19th century. In 1805 he accepted an engagement in Dessau, and in 1809 moved to Breslau, where he enjoyed great success, above all for his King Lear. In 1815 he returned to Berlin as successor to Wilhelm Iffland at the Court Theatre, where he remained until his death in 1832.

Devrient distinguished himself from the actors of the Weimar Court Theatre with his passionate – some went so far as to call it ‘demonic’ – acting style. The picture his contemporaries left of him is that of an actor of visionary intensity, whose artistic triumphs were offset by his tragic real-life inability to adapt to bourgeois conventions. He died of alcoholism at a comparatively young age.

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Citation and Licence

Devrient, Ludwig, in: The Digital Shakespeare Memorial Album. Edited by Christa Jansohn. URI: (Accessed on 30.05.2024)

This text is published under the following licence: CC BY-ND 3.0 DE. Digitzed media reproduced with the permission of the library of Birmingham.

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